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Sports Watching & Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - Sports Commentary - Sports Watching and WonderingUCLA is on its way to Houston to devastate the poor Rice Owls. Rice is truly an excellent academic institution of about 5000 students. They probably could not beat a good high school team, or the California Institute of Technology. By the way, my old boss Howard Hughes attended both schools. If the Bruins don't beat the Owls, then they probably should not come home. The game will be played on Thursday.

USC is happily awaiting the arrival of its Hawaiian hors d'oeuvres. The Warriors, led by former USC Assistant Head Coach Norm Chow, will be easy and tasty. The final score is likely to be 100-0, or 100-3. The Trojans will run up the score as much as they can, not only to humiliate an old colleague, but also to build momentum in their campaign to get the Heisman Trophy Award for Matt Barkley. The Warriors are courageous, but woefully undermanned. They do have a wonderful Drum Corps that stands, and plays during the entire game. They add fun, and a sense of excitement, wherever they appear. I do not know how this wonderful little school got onto the Trojans' schedule. They simply do not have enough personnel to play Big Boy football. They will not get any mercy from the Trojans. Sorry, Mr. Chow, please keep in touch.

There will be a statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar built and installed at Staples Center in 2013. If local athletic achievement had been the only criteria, then you could argue that Abdul-Jabbar should have had the first statue. However, the problem was that, despite his many accomplishments, he is the least popular of all of the superstars. He worked very hard to make people dislike him, and he was successful in that effort. In his defense, I do not think that he was ever aware of the social skills that would've helped him to achieve the popularity that he so desperately craves. Good luck Kareem, thanks for the thrills!

The Dodgers did some serious spending when they acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the Boston Red Sox. He makes them into a team that can reasonably contend for the MLB Championship. They wanted himBlack news from Pasadena - Sports Commentary so badly that they also accepted the long term contract of Josh Beckett, the expensive, over-the-hill, foul mouthed Pitcher.

Chad Johnson & Terrell Owens were once teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals. They were both star wide receivers, and each was near the peak of his career. They were both troublemakers, but each in his own way. Johnson used various antics to call attention to himself, including legally changing his name to "Ocho Cinco", which was the number on his jersey. Owens was the world's angriest and unhappiness football star. He argued with his coaches and his teammates, and anyone else who was in the sound of his voice. This year, Johnson has been cut by the Miami Dolphins, and Owens from the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson was let go, after he was arrested for domestic abuse. Owens was let go, because he is Terrell Owens. It has been reported that each of them is either in, or near, bankruptcy. Neither of them has a lot of goodwill among their colleagues, so at this moment, their futures don't look too bright.

Matt Barkley was given a lot of kudos for returning to USC this year. However, when you think about it, this may have been the smartest choice that he could have made. It was clear that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were going to be picked ahead of him. There were also some other highly regarded quarterbacks. That could have meant that he might not have been drafted in the first round, which means that he would not have received guaranteed first round money. So, a good strategy for him was to return to USC, and to work hard on his quarterbacking skills. Players like Luck and Griffin, come along about once every 10 years. Therefore, his chances of being a higher draft choice will be much better this time.

By the way, recent USC quarterbacks that have gone to the NFL are Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, John David Booty, and Mark Sanchez. Regrettably, none of them have covered themselves with glory. Sanchez showed early promise, but now he appears to be extremely nervous and feeling the ice cold breath of Tim Tebow on the back of his neck. Matt Cassel showed early flashes of brilliance, but now his career is now mired in mediocrity. Still, he may be the best former USC Quarterback in the NFL, and he spent four years there, without getting into a single game.

One day, 10 years from now, parents will be telling their sons that basketball shoes used to cost only three dollars, back in 2012. Then, they will open their wallets and plunk down $25 for a pair of them.

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